Opel Zafira 1.8 MTA Review
Se7en is the number to be

Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim
28 Mar 2008

Stream? Wish? Nah…Too common. But you want to drive a mid-sized MPV that looks mature, modern and at the same time, practical. Can’t find the answer? Read this…

Styling & interior

Japan two, Germany one.

Nope, I’m not yakking soccer stuff here (sorry lads, but I’m not much of a soccer fan), but am talking about our local mid-sized MPV market. If you’re looking for a seven-seater MPV with a 1.8-litre engine, there are only three cars you can look at – Honda’s Stream, Toyota’s Wish and Opel’s Zafira.

Yes, Opel’s Zafira - the forgotten contender from Deutschland.

It’s a tough fight for the Zafira to capture a slice of this lucrative mid-sized MPV market. Especially in badge-conscious consumer market like ours, where unless it’s a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz, only the Japanese marque will get the attention. Tough, but that’s the reality of it here.

We’re very sure though, that the Zafira has its merits. What are they, and what can it offer?

The Zafira looks good in this second instalment. Exterior styling is somehow boxy and curvaceous at the same time, which makes it stand out from the rest of the current MPV crowd. Its taillights are bold, making it easier to recognise from the rear. The front end, on the other hand, is conspicuously snouty and a second glimpse will give you the impression that it’s staring down at you.

The whole interior is your typical German affair, whereby everything is well built and solidly put together. It consists mainly of high quality plastic and you can just feel the leather used for wrapping the seats are of premium ones. Also, the doors all shut itself with a solid “thump”. Fantastic interior build quality - this is the main trait that sets the Zafira apart from its two Japanese competitors.

The solid build quality continues around the dash. It’s obvious the designers gave the whole interior a minimalist treatment, and that seems to work well together with the orange backlight of the Vectra’s instrument cluster – there’s no fault with it. And you just have to love the meters – it’s clear and easy on the eye.

It’s a different story for the seats though. Sure, you can place five at the back without a problem, but somehow the seats just feel too overly padded and lack the proper lumbar support. Strangely on the other hand, driver and front passenger get seats that are supportive – the sort that keeps you in place when the car is driven enthusiastically.

By MPV standards, the Zafira has commendable boot space. With all seats up, it should be able to swallow in one golf bag and two other travel bags. Bring the third row down, and you have sedan-like ferrying capabilities. Put all the seats down, and you should be able to place a two-seater sofa at the back. It’s flexible back there, bringing a whole new meaning to the term “multi-purpose vehicle”.


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Engine Capacity 1796cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 140bhp @ 6300rpm
Torque 175Nm @ 3800rpm
Power to Weight 92.2 bhp per ton


Acceleration 12.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 197 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 5 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF


Body Type MPV
(L x W x H)
(4467 x 2026 x 1645) mm
Wheelbase 2703 mm
Kerb Weight 1518 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 58 L